Laugh and the world laughs with you. Try it. I have humor senses that tell me when a conversation I haven’t heard all of is going on and I laugh and smile at the people talking. But really, why not? We all laugh from infancy on. In any language. Even apes laugh but in their own way.
Laughter is an odd bit of human communication that we use in many ways. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/3077386/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/big-mystery-why-do-we-laugh/#.V4Gc56JbhD_ Young children probably laugh more than anyone. A person can fake a laugh, like when your boss tells you a joke and you feel obligated to chuckle.
For me as a writer, laughter is a big problem. My characters laugh way too often when speaking to each other. That certainly is a reflection of my own style, chuckling at so many puns and jokes and songs going on in my head when I should be listening to someone.
Laughing at others is a weapon. Bullies and snobs reflect an ancient tradition of forcing others to conform or leave the group. Laughing at yourself is a defense mechanism, something I learned as an overweight child and obese teen. My love of comedy may have started as a way to win friends and influence people.
The best use for laughter is when we meet and interact with another person. Don’t have a sense of humor? This is where the fake it till you make it idea works best. My daughter missed a lot of jokes as a teenager, so we promised to get her a sense of humor for Christmas. These days, she’s very funny. http://www.realsimple.com/work-life/life-strategies/why-do-people-laugh
I laugh a lot when my parrots make noises or say words that seem to fit into the on-going conversation. My Amazon parrot likes to laugh along with people, and yes, that does make whoever hears him laugh more. We could go on for days like that.
Why do we laugh? Not because something is funny, it turns out. But because of an evolutionary development of a trigger deep in the subcortex that actually predates the ability to laugh. http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120601-what-makes-us-laugh Laughing is complex as well as essential to our health and well-being.
Health, you ask? Yes, it’s been a well-known fact for decades now that laughter has many health benefits for you. Laughter is the best medicine and can contribute to a positive outlook that will help you stay well and heal as needed. http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm
I hope you got a smile or two out of this post as well as thought of ways to make your characters more real. I’m going to leave you with one of my favorite puns that is attributed to Groucho Marx. Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.